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first_imgSHARE Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia qualified for next year’s World Cup on Tuesday after a dramatic last round of South American fixtures that also saw Peru clinch a playoff spot against New Zealand and Chile miss out completely.Brazil were fortunate enough to escape most of the drama, having already qualified as group winners, but they still had a say in who would join them in Russia next year.Argentina, finalists three years ago but outside the four qualifying spots going into their match in Ecuador, fell behind in the first minute but a Lionel Messi hat-trick guaranteed his side one of the three automatic berths still up for grabs.“Luckily, we reacted quickly after Ecuador scored,” Messi said after the celebrations in Quito had died down following Argentina’s 3–1 win. “Thank God, we fulfilled our objective,” he said.Uruguay also went behind at home to Bolivia, to an own goal from Gaston Silva after 24 minutes, but they forged ahead with two goals in each half to finish second in the 10-team group behind five-time World Cup winners Brazil.Martin Caceres, Edinson Cavani and two Luis Suarez strikes gave the home side a commanding lead before Diego Godin’s own goal completed the scoring in a 4–2 win for the hosts.Peru in play-offsA second-half goal from Paolo Guerrero kept Peru in with a chance of a first World Cup appearance since 1982 when his brilliant free kick in Lima cancelled out Colombia’s opener from James Rodriguez.Peru, unbeaten in their last six qualifiers under Argentina manager Ricardo Gareca, failed to secure the win that would have ensured automatic qualification but have the consolation of a home-and-away playoff against Oceania champions New Zealand.“To be in this position was one of our targets for the qualifiers,” Gareca said after the 1–1 draw. “There’s 180 minutes left. We know that it is difficult but we know that it is up to us.”Chile, Paraguay miss outFive-times champions Brazil had already qualified before their game against Chile in Sao Paulo but a 3-0 home victory saw the visitors drop from third to sixth in the standings, failing to even qualify for the inter-continental playoff.Three second-half goals, one from Paulinho and two from Gabriel Jesus, enabled the group leaders to extend their unbeaten run in the group to 17 games. “We finished in top spot with a great win against a strong team,” Jesus said. “We were focused.”The result marks the end of a brilliant run by the Chileans, who won the last two Copa America tournaments in 2015 and 2016 and qualified for the last two World Cups.“My soul is destroyed,” Arturo Vidal, the midfield dynamo who missed the match through suspension, wrote on social media. “Thanks boys, for everything, for all these years together giving our lives in every game.”Paraguay also missed out after they lost 1–0 at home to bottom side Venezuela when a victory would have seen them clinch the playoff berth instead of Peru. COMMENTS October 11, 2017 Published on SHARE SHARE EMAILcenter_img sport football × COMMENTlast_img read more


first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterUpon opening reservations for its newest luxury ship, Seven Seas Splendor, Regent Seven Seas Cruises had the best single booking day in the brand’s 26-year history, accounting for a 32% increase over the previous all-time high on inaugural season launch day for Seven Seas Explorer® in January 2015. Locally, reservations for Seven Seas Splendor saw the biggest booking day since the Regent Seven Seas Cruises office opened in Sydney in April 2016. With the highly anticipated ship as the driving force, the company not only saw record bookings for her inaugural season, but they also had strong reservations across the other four ships in the fleet, Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Navigator®, Seven Seas Mariner® and Seven Seas Voyager®. “The response to Seven Seas Splendor’s inaugural season has been incredible, bringing in even more bookings than the Explorer did on her launch day, proving that the demand among both past and new guests continues to grow,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings senior vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific, Steve Odell. “It’s especially encouraging that we’ve only released Splendor’s first 10 voyages; I’m looking forward to seeing our guests’ reactions when we announce the 2020-21 schedule later this year.”“We want to thank our local trade partners for all their support, which has been integral to the successful launch of Seven Seas Splendor’s inaugural season. We look forward to continuing on this journey with our local partners to continue to grow the Australian and New Zealand markets,” added Mr. OdellWhen Seven Seas Splendor launches in 2020, it will deliver a new level of elegance to the cruise industry and perfect the luxury experience for travellers. Guests will enjoy awe-inspiring public spaces as well as 375 beautifully appointed, all-balcony suites ranging from the 28-square-metre entry-level Veranda Suite, to the lavish 412-square-metre Regent Suite. Every part of the ship has a distinctive look, all featuring intricate design details that create an aesthetically stunning and relaxing environment for guests as they sail through some of the most desirable destinations in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and North America.Reservations for the Seven Seas Splendor’s inaugural season are open, with the first sailing beginning on 7 February 2020.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more